North Korea has justified its latest long-, medium-range ballistic missile test-firing as “routine work to raise nuclear capability for self-defence”, rejecting the UN Security Council’s condemnation. “The successful test-fire of Hwasong-12 is of special significance in ensuring peace and stability in the Korean peninsula, and it is the greatest victory of the Korean people,” Xinhau news agency quoted a Foreign Ministry spokesman as saying on Tuesday.
North Korea is also stepping up diplomatic actions to seek support and understanding from other countries over its missile launch. The Foreign Ministry on Monday briefed envoys of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) member-states on the present situation.
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North Korean officials accused the US of pressuring other countries into severing or degrading diplomatic ties with it by misusing “sanction resolutions” against it. They were referring to a recent meeting between US Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and Asean officials in Washington, during which Tillerson called on Asean countries to degrade diplomatic ties and cut interactions with North Korea.
“Such pressure by use of ‘sanction resolutions’ devoid of legality, morality and impartiality is a blatant infringement on the independence of a sovereign state and act of interference in others’ internal affairs,” said a senior North Korean diplomat.
North Korea on Sunday test-fired a ballistic missile, which “accurately hit” the targeted open waters 787 km away after flying to a maximum altitude of 2,111.5 km. Both the UN Security Council and Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on Monday slammed the missile launches.
The UN Security Council “strongly condemned the most recent ballistic missile launches” conducted by North Korea on April 28 and May 13, the 15-nation UN body said in a statement.